Centro Cultural de la Raza to Present Redesign Proposals at Upcoming Celebration
By Mario A. Cortez
As it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021, the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park will be undertaking the next steps of its renewal efforts by presenting to the public new interior design proposals for the venue and launching a fundraiser to fund this major change.
Taking up the motto “El Centro es de quien lo trabaja” — a reference to the Emiliano Zapata quote “The land belongs to those who work it” — the Centro will be hosting Raza Visions, a kick off celebration for the second phase of the Centro’s revival efforts. The event will feature design presentations showing off the five designs considered for the renovation effort, which the Centro hopes to receive feedback and comments on.
As Ymoat Luna of the Centro’s Arts Advisory Committee, the volunteer group overseeing the venue’s management and activities, said to La Prensa San Diego, the design proposals come from from a collaboration with students in the interior design graduate program at San Diego State University under professor Junichi Sato.
“The collaboration has changed the path the Committee is preparing for the anniversary and we really want to present the proposals to everyone,” Luna said. “The students are basing the models on their own research of the Centro and the Chicano Movement and we will be walking along with them in the process of bringing the chosen design to life.”
The event and redesign effort come in the heels of a series of monthly clean up sessions which began last September dubbed La Limpia del Corazón — the “Cleansing of the Heart” in Spanish — in which volunteers cleaned up the Centro and refurbished gallery drywall and light fixtures. The Limpia events also involved spiritual cleanses and ceremonies in order to bring harmony to the space and those looking to volunteer.
The upcoming event will also be an opportunity for the Arts Advisory Committee to collect stories, pictures, memories, and any artifacts related to the Centro’s existence for a future exhibit celebrating the community’s relationship with the Centro.
“We will be collecting what we call ‘Centro Stories’, we want to know how the Centro has been of impact to San Diego over the last 50 years and we want people to shape an exhibit we are planning for fall where we celebrate the people who helped create and shape the space,” Luna shared.
Other programing coming to this cultural space in the coming months includes movie nights focused on political awareness and educational forums regarding political struggles in Mexico and Central America. Efforts to digitize the Centro’s historical archives are also in the works.
Raza Visions will be held on Friday May 24 at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, located at 2004 Park Boulevard in San Diego,at 6 p.m. The event will also feature food, raffles, vendors, an art show, and cumbia performances by Bill Caballero, La Diabla, and Cumbia Machin.